Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Explains jewelry's presence before iron smelting was brought to region

It turns out that a 5,000 year old ancient Egyptian artifact hides an incredible secret; it was made from a meteorite. It's a significant find as it explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron thousands of years before iron smelting was introduced to the region. That mystery has confounded scientists - until now.

Strings of iron beads, excavated in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, a burial site south of Cairo started scientists on the intriguing trail. The relic dates from 3350 to 3600 BC, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age.

Strings of iron beads, excavated in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, a burial site south of Cairo started scientists on the intriguing trail. The relic dates from 3350 to 3600 BC, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Egypt, meteorites, iron, jewelry, worship


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The discovery also reveals a component of the Egyptians' religion, as well as the divine attributes they attached to meteorites. "The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians," Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester says. "Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods."

Strings of iron beads, excavated in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, a burial site south of Cairo started scientists on the intriguing trail. The relic dates from 3350 to 3600 BC, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age.

The bead first analyzed was originally assumed to be from a meteorite owing to its composition of nickel-rich iron. This theory was challenged in the 1980s when academics proposed that much of the early worldwide examples of iron use originally thought to be of meteorite-origin were actually early smelting attempts.

Diane Johnson, a meteorite scientist at the Open University in Milton Keynes along with her colleagues used scanning electron microscopy and computed tomography to analyze one of the beads, which they borrowed from the museum.

Areas where the weathered surface had fallen away, provided Johnson with what she described as "little windows" to the preserved metal beneath.

The nickel content of this original metal was found to be high, suggesting that it did indeed come from a meteorite. Johnson also observed that the metal had a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanstätten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids while the Solar System was forming.

"Meteorites have a unique micro-structural and chemical fingerprint because they cooled incredibly slowly as they travelled through space. It was really interesting to find that fingerprint turn up in Egyptian artifacts," Philip Withers, Professor of Materials Science at The University of Manchester said.

Meteorite iron had profound implications for the ancient Egyptians, both in their perception of the iron in the context of its celestial origin and in early metallurgy attempts.

"Today, we see iron first and foremost as a practical, rather dull metal. To the ancient Egyptians, however, it was a rare and beautiful material which, as it fell from the sky, surely had some magical/religious properties," Tyldesley says.

"They therefore used this remarkable metal to create small objects of beauty and religious significance which were so important to them that they chose to include them in their graves."


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Africa

Terrorist slaughters 37 on Tunisian beach resort of Sousse Watch

Image of Witnesses say the gunman started firing from the beach before moving onto the Imperial Hotel's swimming pool.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thirty-seven people have been killed - and at least another 36 were injured in a terrorist shooting spree in the beachside town of Sousse in Tunisia. At least five people from the United Kingdom are listed as among the dead. The believed gunman in the massacre, ... continue reading


Ugandan witch doctors abducting, killing children for body parts Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a satanic practice once thought consigned to a very, very dark age - but it is increasing in frequency throughout the African nation of Uganda. "Witch doctors" are abducting and killing schoolchildren to use their body parts in malefic rituals. It is ... continue reading


Somali men demoralized, turn to drugs after more women become breadwinners Watch

Image of Many Somali men, usurped from the traditional role of breadwinner in many households, have turned to divorce and substance abuse.

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Men in war-torn Somalia suffer high rates of drug addiction, divorce and mental illness, researchers said, urging donors to do more to support men and strengthen families. NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In Somali culture, men are expected to provide all ... continue reading


Tour guide risks life attempting to save American tourist horrifically killed by lion Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Katherine Chappell, the American tourist attacked and killed by a lion during an African safari tour, was being attacked, the staff of the park hesitated to treat Chappell and the ambulance took a long time to arrive, according to Pierre Potgieter, the tour guide. ... continue reading


Obianuju Ekeocha: The case against Abortion, An Appeal for Mercy from a Nigerian Woman Watch

Image of Abortion is not for us or our children - for it is a violent solution sanitized within the wounded heart of the western world and we just cannot accept it now or ever. - Uju

By Obianuju Ekeocha

In the last few years, we have woken up to the indescribable horror and terror of Boko Haram. And every one of us will agree that their actions and operations are merciless, viscous and violent beyond words. And so we pray for an end to the death and destruction ... continue reading


African governments swindled from tax dollars they need for development Watch

Image of Tax reform would go a long way towards funding new commitments to improve schooling and healthcare in Africa.

By Stella Dawson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Multinational companies deprive African governments of $11 billion in taxes each year, and G7 world leaders should set up a new global body to regulate corporate taxation, Oxfam International said on Monday. WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - By shifting ... continue reading


American tourist attacked and killed by lion during African Safari Park tour Watch

Image of A lion [not pictured] attacked a tourist during the safari tour.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When one 22 year old tourist from the United States planned her trip to South Africa, being mauled and attacked by a big angry cat was definitely not part of her itinerary. Unfortunately for this young woman, it turned out this trip would be her last.  MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Six million DEAD - Is the U.S. working with the U.N. guilty of genocide and ethnic cleansing? Watch

Image of The bishops in a pastoral message said they had been moved by the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Genocide continues in the world today - and those who can make a difference - look away. That's the feeling of bishops from the eastern Congo. The bishops are sharply critical on the failure of their government and the United Nations to act against "genocide, ... continue reading


BRIBERY AND GRAFT: Ugandan families tricked into giving up children for U.S. adoption Watch

Image of Church-backed orphanages and private childcare institutions are springing up across Uganda, catering to the U.S. market.

By Katy Migiro and Tom Esslemont, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Ugandan families have been bribed, tricked or coerced into giving up their children to U.S. citizens and other foreigners for adoption, a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation has found. LONDON/KAMPALA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Leaked documents, court data, ... continue reading


'Human beings should not be sold' Ugandan grandmother decries system that tore her grandchild from her family Watch

By Katy Migiro and Tom Esslemont, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The first time Jaja, a Ugandan woman, saw her one-year-old granddaughter, she was in the arms of an American man who she was told had "bought" the child. KAMPALA/LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The toddler was sitting with the man and his wife, eating ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 19:15-29
15 When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
2 Probe me, Yahweh, examine me, Test my heart and my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat followed by his ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2015 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter